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Day 46 - Thunderstorms (creative ideas for home schooling)

For anyone new to this blog, the idea is simple - each day my boys (Joshua - 9 and Archie - 8) choose a stimulus that drives the learning. We hope that you enjoy the blog and can take some inspiration from what we love doing - making learning as engaging as possible!



Thunderstorms provide such a wonderful stimulus for writing. The sounds, the sights, the feelings and emotions that they evoke - all culminate in something rich in experience.

I personally love thunderstorms and the way they make me feel. The more severe, the more invigorated I feel. It is fair to say that this perception does come from being inside, looking out. I do remember being caught in the middle of a thunderstorm before - this was a very different experience.

Today, we are focussing on bring the thunderstorm to life. Incredibly, we were even blessed with our very own thunderstorm to fuel the imagination. We hope you enjoy!



  • Generating similes

  • Creating metaphors

  • Drawing on the senses for setting description

  • Onomatopoeia

  • Performance poetry

We began the session by looking at photos of thunderstorms and focussing in on the lightning.

We then generated lots of similes for lightning, thinking what they look like, however abstract. In the brainstorm, it is essential that the boys didn't worry about what ideas popped into their heads. I always encourage them to write down whatever ideas they think of. I find a 2 minute timer helps focus the activity.

We then listened to thunderstorms on Youtube and made a list of what thunder was like or reminded us of. We also generated a list of onomatopoeic words we associated with thunderstorms. As always, we then shared our ideas and magpied from one another. Here are the initial brainstorms:

These could be turned into poems by their own right. You may like to take each line and then elongate it. For example,

Lightning is like a witch's hair,

frayed and fizzled.

Lightning is like a spear dragon's fiery breath,

ripping through the night sky.

However, I wanted to try to recreate a thunderstorm, where the thunder and lightning almost hold a conversation or argument with one another. I began by showing them how to get the poem started. The trick is to move from the simile to the metaphor.

I began with the simile, Thunder is like the rumble of tortured souls. To turn it into a metaphor, I dropped the 'Thunder is like' and extended the description:

The rumble of a tortured soul

echoes through the night.

I then did the same for lightning and continued this pattern, going back and forth. Here is my model that I created with the boys, as well as their independent applications and performances.



The rumble or a tortured soul

echoes through the night.

The sky cracks and shatters

into thousands of pieces.

A cloud giant's roar

relentlessly resonates.

Charged talons tear,

hairs of menace,

plunging into the earth.

Death's nightmare sighs -

a guttural growl

as a network of veins

illuminate the darkness.

The angered crowd whimpers.

The rivers of power dry up.

God's fury fades...

into silence.

© Jamie Thomas 2020


The Storm by Archie

An electric bean stalk

smacks through

the wicked water.

A dinosaur rumble

echoes down

to the darkest cave.

A dragon's fiery breath

thuds like a meteor shower.

Fierce footsteps

bang like a giant's jump.

A vicious volcano

easily explodes.

A death song's cackle

spreads through the world.

A snake's slithering

hisses from far distances.


The Storm by Joshua

A bear's growl

moans through

the night sky.

A skrill's lightning strike

zips the night in two.

The crack of a coconut

smashes the silence.

A fierce meteor shower

burns through

the blackboard.

A feisty dragon's

death song


A snail's trail

lights the night.


If you are enjoying this blog, please do share it and spread the word. Thank you to all of you who have got in touch and shared some of the outcomes from what you have tried - we love to hear from you.

Do tune in tomorrow where we exploring:

All about me

My thanks to Pie Corbett, Julia Strong and the Talk for Writing team for inspiring many of the ideas explored in this blog.

This blog is copyright. All materials herein, texts and supporting resources are copyright to Jamie Thomas & Talk for Writing. They may be used to support children/staff/parents in home-learning ONLY and not for commercial gain or for training or sharing widely, in their original form or any variations. They must also not be shared online or on any social media platforms without prior permission.

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